Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

Introduction:

Are you craving a crunchy, flavorful snack that won’t leave you feeling guilty? Look no further than these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders! This recipe delivers perfectly crispy chicken tenders without the need for deep frying, making it a healthier alternative that doesn’t sacrifice taste. Plus, with simple ingredients and easy steps, you’ll have a delicious meal on the table in no time. Let’s dive into how to make these irresistible chicken tenders.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds chicken tenders about 12
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  •  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs 120g
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions:

  1. Prep the Chicken: Start by patting the chicken tenders dry with paper towels. Sprinkle them evenly with salt and pepper for added flavor.
  2. Prepare the Breading Station: Set up a breading station with two shallow dishes. In one dish, beat the eggs. In the other dish, combine the panko breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and paprika.
  3. Coat the Chicken: Dip each chicken tender in the egg wash, ensuring it’s fully coated. Then, transfer it to the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to adhere the crumbs to the chicken.
  4. Prep the Air Fryer: Spray the air fryer basket with olive oil spray to prevent sticking and ensure a crispy texture.
  5. Air Fry the Chicken: Working in batches, place the breaded chicken tenders in the air fryer basket. Spray them evenly with olive oil spray. Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for about 6 minutes on one side until golden brown. Then, flip the chicken pieces and air fry for an additional 5 minutes or until they’re golden and crispy.
  6. Serve: Once cooked to perfection, serve the hot chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauce for a satisfying snack or meal.

Tips:

  • Make Ahead and Freeze: These chicken tenders can be prepared ahead of time and frozen before cooking. Simply arrange the breaded tenders in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Then, transfer them to a plastic bag for storage. When ready to cook, air fry the frozen tenders, adding about 5 extra minutes to the cooking time.
  • Use an Instant-Read Thermometer: To ensure the chicken tenders are cooked through, use an instant-read thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C).

Serving Tips:

  1. Dipping Sauces: Pair your Air Fryer Chicken Tenders with an array of dipping sauces such as barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ranch dressing, or sriracha mayo for extra flavor.
  2. Side Dishes: Serve the tenders alongside your favorite sides like coleslaw, fries, salad, or roasted vegetables to create a balanced meal.
  3. Appetizer Platter: Arrange the chicken tenders on a platter with a variety of dipping sauces and garnishes for a delightful appetizer spread at parties or gatherings.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover cooked chicken tenders in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. Freezing: To freeze uncooked breaded tenders, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container for storage for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.
  3. Reheating: Reheat refrigerated or frozen chicken tenders in the air fryer for a few minutes until heated through and crispy again. Alternatively, you can use an oven or microwave, but the air fryer will help maintain their crispy texture.

FAQs:

1. Can I use regular breadcrumbs instead of panko for the chicken tenders? Yes, you can substitute regular breadcrumbs for panko in this recipe. However, panko breadcrumbs tend to provide a lighter and crispier texture, so keep in mind that the result may vary slightly in texture.

2. How do I know when the chicken tenders are cooked through? The chicken tenders are cooked through when they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (75°C). You can use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature to ensure they are safe to eat.

3. Can I prepare the chicken tenders ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the chicken tenders ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Follow the recipe up to the point of breading the chicken, then refrigerate them for up to 24 hours or freeze them for longer storage.

4. Can I air fry the chicken tenders without using oil spray? While using oil spray helps achieve a crispy texture, you can still air fry the chicken tenders without it. However, they may not be as crispy. If you prefer to avoid using oil spray, you can try brushing the chicken tenders lightly with oil before air frying.

5. What dipping sauces pair well with these chicken tenders? These chicken tenders pair well with a variety of dipping sauces such as barbecue sauce, honey mustard, ranch dressing, ketchup, sriracha mayo, or sweet chili sauce. Feel free to experiment with different sauces to find your favorite combination.

Conclusion:

these Air Fryer Chicken Tenders are crispy, healthy, and easy to make. With just a few ingredients and simple steps, you can enjoy delicious homemade tenders in no time. They’re perfect for snacking or serving as a meal, making them a crowd-pleaser for all occasions.